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Boccherini Edition Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Boccherini
  • Audio CD (10 Sept. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 37
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,000 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

The most extensive Edition of Boccherini in the market. The average music lover knows only one piece by Boccherini: the famous Menuet. And indeed it is quintessential Boccherini: elegant, charming, sweetly melodic, warm and graceful. However there is more to this famous classical composer: his vast output of mainly chamber music shows him a genius craftsman, able to express himself in a wide range of emotions, in well balanced and perfected structures of the Classical Style. This set offers a generous collection of chamber music in diverse instrumental combinations, for guitar (the famous Fandango Quintet !), oboe, cello, pianoforte and strings. His symphonic output is present with a fine selection of symphonies and his complete cello concertos. Also included is his famous Stabat Mater for vocal soloists, choir and orchestra. Highly praised historically informed performances, by La Magnifica Comunità and others. One of the most distinguished figures of the Classical period, the Italian composer Luigi Boccherini (1743 1805) was revered by 18th-century listeners and musicians for the charm, elegance and lyrical beauty of his music. Although his legacy has been undervalued in modern times, this new 37 CD box set, the most comprehensive on the market, invites listeners to rediscover the distinctive musical voice and graceful style that won Boccherini acclaim during his own lifetime. The composer's famed chamber works are explored in particular detail: a broad survey of the string quintets highlights the warmth and sophistication that listeners have found so appealing in Boccherini's music, and the oboe, piano and guitar quintets (including the evocative Fandango Guitar Quintet) showcase his imaginative handling of instrumental and tonal colour. Boccherini's prodigious talent as a cellist is apparent in the virtuosic cello sonatas and concertos, which call for an array of dazzling instrumental techniques, while the Stabat Mater is one of just a handful of vocal works that he wrote during his career. Also included are two discs of mature symphonies, less ground-breaking than those of his contemporaries Mozart and Haydn but equally compelling for their expressive melodies subtle innovations. Over these 37 discs, Boccherini's works are given outstanding readings by specialists in 18th-century repertoire, with a number of performances on period instruments. The collection is a testament to the enduring charm of the Italian composer's music, and listeners will cherish the opportunity to rediscover and explore it in greater depth.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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Are 37 discs of Boccherini about 32 too many? Well, you won't get the consistent depth of his contemporary Haydn. But equally there is a lot more going on here than merely pleasant and tuneful tinkling, strumming, tootling or scraping. It is endlessly enjoyable and captivating, and sometimes surprising. It is the kind of music you put on for a pleasant and not-too-demanding background, and suddenly find that you have stopped working for ten minutes to listen to new delights.

The performances here by various groups seem consistently good to excellent (and often suitably "period"-flavoured in a restrained way). At just over £1 a disc, this is a stunning bargain. Treat yourself.
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I can't add much more to what previous reviewers have written about this collection. At ~£40 for 37 CDs, I wasn't expecting much by way of quality but my scepticism had to give way to incredulity when I heard them. They are really, really good. I bought them principally for the cello concertos and sonatas but to have the other 30 odd excellent CDs thrown in, it seems unbelievably good value. I'm sure Mrs Lopsided from the "Lady Killers" would agree.
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I really like this collection of Boccherini. His music is difficult to come by, and the collection offers a vast choice of interpretations and performances, providing a tribute to B's music with the scope and level that he more than deserves.
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Format: Audio CD
I was expecting this to be quite good, as some of the CDs are the same as those that I'd already bought separately.

However, I hadn't expected such a consistently good set of performances, so this set is a very cheap way of
getting access to music that you won't hear anywhere else - congratulations to Brilliant!

If you like Boccherini at all, buy this set - now - don't wait - just do it :-)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best deal ever on Boccherini !! 3 Dec. 2012
By zerosykess - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is the best deal ever on Luigi Boccherini!! (at around $65.00) Worth the price for the cello works and string quintets alone!!!! Thus, the 5 stars.

Boccherini was a master cellist and composer elite who combined attractive melodies with passages of exciting virtuosity. Boccherini composed with vim, verve, vigor, and vitality. His music possesses noble Mozart-like regality and sparkle !!! You will not be disappointed with this purchase ! Time will avail and elevate his stature.

Unfortunately it has only four of his many string quartets, few of his symphonies, as well as his forty-plus string trios, and quintets with viola (however, some are are his least memorable works). It also does not have his superlative and magnificent flute quintets. It does include his oboe concertos and Stabat Mater.

I wish Brilliant came out with this before I spent over twice as much on just the 9 volumes of the string quintets alone. The String Quintets by "La Magnifica Comunita" are Outstanding. Boccherini is listed in the Guinness Book of Music Facts and Feats as "the most ingratiating composer." He was a supreme master in a genre (quintets) once described as "artstocratic party music". Play this music ambiently for social events and gatherings with wine, fruits, meats, and cheeses. If you like Haydn and Mozart, you will like this!

The cello works are fantastic pieces of composition, although on a couple sonatas I can hear some pages being turned and other sounds during the recording, but the reverb is perfect!! I have all the Haydn Baryton Trios and cello works by Bach, Beethoven, and Vivaldi (and I love them), but for me, Boccherini's cello works equal and exceed, in many cases, those works. Listen and then judge objectively for yourself. Boccherini had a unique compositional style. Listen to cello sonata in C G3 and know a new style of exquisite cello unlike any other composer. Then, listen to the rest of his sonatas and truly appreciate the style of Boccherini cello masterpieces!

My opinion only, as I do not seek nor relish in vengeful or vindictive animus or acrimony.

As usual, there are some problems with any Brilliant box set and this one is no exception. Covers, notes, times, and titles are missing and or incomplete at times. The set is nicely packaged and a value !!!!!!! If my house were burning down I would grab this on my way out!!

Have a great day friends!!!
67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the Boccherini you'll ever need? Well, no.... 14 Jan. 2013
By DocSFisher - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What have we here? A "comprehensive box set" as promised by the hype on the container? Well, to be precise:
CD 1-2 Symphonies, G 515, 517-522 (Michael Erleben, New Berlin Chamber Orchestra, 1993)
CD 3-5 Cello Concertos, G 474-483, 573, E-flat major G deest (Enrico Bronzi, Accademia i filarmonici di Verona, 2005)
CD 6 String Sextets, Op. 23, no. 1, 3, 4, 6; G 454, 456, 457, 459 (Mayumi Seiler and others, 1991)
CD 7 Oboe Quintets, Op. 55, G 431-436 (Lajos Lencsés, Parisli Quartet, 1992)
CD 8-9 Guitar Quintets, G 445-450, 453 (Eros Roselli, La Magnifica Comunità, 2005)
CD 10-13 Piano Quintets, Op. 56-57; G 407-418 (Ilario Gregoletto, Ensemble Claviere, 2005)
CD 14-29 String Quintets, Op. 10, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, 28 (all with second cello), 39 (with bass); G 265-312, 337-339 (La Magnifica Comunità, 2006-2011)
CD 30 String Quartets, G 248, 177, 194, 213 (Petersen Quartet, 1991)
CD 31 Sonatas for Piano and Violin, Op. 5; G 25-30 (Enrico Gatti, Franco Angelini, 1991)
CD 32 Sonatas for Piano, Violin, and Cello, G 143-148 (Galimathias Musicum, 1991)
CD 33-36 Sonatas for Cello, G 1, 2a, 2b, 3, 4a, 4b, 5-18, 565a, 565b, 566, E-flat major, G major, and D major G deest (Luigi Puxeddu and others, 2009; G 18 played on viola)
CD 37 Stabat Mater, 1781 version, G 532 (Barbara Vignudelli, soprano; Flavio Emilio Scogna, Orchestra da Camera "Benedetto Marcello," 2005)
In other words, a somewhat haphazard assortment of relatively recent European performances, mostly on period instruments, that Brilliant Classics was able to license.
The symphonies here are the last quarter of Boccherini's output, composed for Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia in 1786-1792, showing remarkably little influence from the Haydn symphonies that saturated musical circles in Spain as thoroughly as they did those in the rest of Europe. The cello concertos, cello sonatas, and piano quintets are essentially complete, and only one guitar quintet is missing. As the guitar quintets are all arrangements Boccherini made for a noble amateur, the Marquis of Benavente (the notes in the box confuse him with the far richer Duke of Osuna y Benavente, who would have surely rated original compositions), some of the music occurs again elsewhere in the set, mostly in the piano quintets. The string quintets with two cellos constitute the first half of Boccherini's production in his favorite genre, dating from the 1770s. While Boccherini composed a significant amount of vocal music, it was not his forte; the Stabat Mater is his best-known vocal work and the best choice to represent that side of him. On the other hand, it is disconcerting to find only four of Boccherini's ninety-odd string quartets in this set. The forty-plus string trios are completely missing, as are the ten or twelve quintets with viola, and the considerable number of pieces for mixed ensembles of strings and winds are represented only by the oboe quintets. In short, if you like this music, this is not all the Boccherini you'll ever need. On the other hand, it's a great value. I've dashed this review off quickly so you can have a list of the contents and I've only listened to a fraction of the set, but so far I'm pleased.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 12 Aug. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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I would like more string quartets!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible music. Incredible bargain. 10 Jan. 2013
By Leeber Cohen - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I hesitated buying this box. Did I really need 37 CDs of Boccherini's music? I had absolutely no idea how incredibly beautiful his music is. I started out this morning listening to the Opus 11 String Quintets. This includes the famous minuet and trio from Opus 11 No 5, but the other music clearly is also worth listening to. This music brings joy to your heart. The sound of the gut strings on the period instruments is well recorded.I have listened to four CDs of these string quintets this morning and it is clear the box is worth every cent I paid. If your not convinced try Volume 2 in La Magnifica Communita's recording of the Opus 11 String Quintet. Two discs very well priced.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 26 Jan. 2013
By Definitely Not Abraham Lincoln - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Boccherini is not "classical" in the sense that Mozart or Haydn are. His style combines a lot of the elegance and vitality of the classical composers (of whom he was a contemporary) with his own unique charm (unlike composers in Italy, Austria, and Germany, Boccherini remained largely uninfluenced by the Viennese school of thought), while still retaining some of the formality and stateliness of the baroque (which is not too surprising as he was born in 1744, six years before Bach's death and the end of the baroque period).

While this "Complete Boccherini" is, in actuality, far from complete (other reviewers have gone into further detail regarding what is missing), it gives us an exceptional and rounded view of the composer's output. By far my favorite discs are those containing his Symphonies, which are majestic and stately but simultaneously light and sweet. Boccherini's forte is certainly fantastic string writing, especially for his own instrument - the cello -, but he is equally at home writing for other instruments.

The recordings themselves are generally very good, which most of the licensed music being from digital recordings in the 1990s. Perhaps budget was an issue, or perhaps there just weren't enough recordings to be consistent, but I would really have loved to have seen Tafelmusik recordings which are, in my personal opinion, just ever so slightly better in that they sound a little brighter.

However, at under $2 per disc, there is really nothing to complain about: for the price, it's an amazing collection. And, if you're a fan of Boccherini - or, like me, you've heard a few pieces in the past and wanted to hear more -, then this is absolutely the best option for getting a lot of bang for your buck.
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